Blind Spots: Stay Safe While Sharing the Road with Big Rigs

truckmirror-minMany know that drivers of 18-wheelers can be some of the most careful drivers on the road. Due to the sheer weight of the truck and trailer, the most minor imbalance can often cause a horrifying accident. The worst types of truck accidents are rollovers, wherein the 18-wheeler or other vehicles end up on their side or rolled onto their back, or another position. These accidents are messy, brutal, and result in injury or sometimes even death, especially when civilian drivers are involved. Unfortunately, one of the many causes of these split-second accidents is due to blind spots. While 18-wheelers possess some top-notch, safe, and experienced drivers, the design and mirrors for many of these trucks still leave some large blind spots that are dangerous to the driver and other motorists. Today, J. Price McNamara and our team want to share some tips on how to safely share the road with freight trucks, and what to do if an accident happens to you.

Demonstration of Blind Spots

For a more sobering reminder of the dangers of blind spots, take a look at the video below from the British Safety Council. The video shows a truck driver demonstrating a left turn: he checks his mirrors on both sides, and the coast seems clear. However, as the demonstration continues, the driver steps out of the cab and reveals that there was actually a huge group of cyclists on the left side the whole time. The cyclists were in the truck’s blind spot, invisible to the driver’s eye the whole time.

Road-Sharing Safety Tips

Know Where the Blind Spots Are… and Don’t Linger!

Assume that freight trucks have at least one blind spot on all sides: the very front of the truck directly in front of the grill, behind the truck, and along the sides of the truck, particularly where the truck and the tractor are connected. If you do need to pass a truck, do your best to not linger in these positions, or instead give the truck some space.

Passing Trucks Safely

Remember, when passing a truck, if you can’t see the driver’s face in his mirrors, he most likely can’t see you. Keep eyes open for turn signals, which are positioned along the sides of the trucks typically. If you are passing a truck and he is indicating a turn, slow down and be sure that the driver can see you.

Keeping Your Distance

This is especially important when trucks are making left and right turns down city streets. Never try to sneak between a truck that is signaling a turn. They most likely won’t see you in time and could collide with you. Trucks take wide turns for a reason, and trying to sneak your way in-between a truck and his lane is very unwise.

During highway traffic, never try to rapidly pull in front of a truck. Keep your distance and only pull in front of the truck once you can see the whole cab in your rear-view mirror.

Be Patient

This is possibly the most important rule of all: patience. Give trucks the right of way when turning or changing lanes. If you pass a truck, do so in a safe way. Speeding past a truck, while disregarding any turn signals or awareness of your surroundings, is both dangerous for you and the driver of the big rig.

What To Do If You’re Involved in a Blind Spot Accident

If you are involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler truck in the Baton Rouge or Metairie, LA areas, it’s absolutely vital that you call us right away. The first step after these accidents occur is an investigation on what happened, typically by police and by the trucking company. You’ll need someone on your side to defend your rights, while also gathering all the necessary evidence to get the full picture and uncover who was at-fault.

Don’t hesitate to contact us at the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara to speak with our experienced attorneys. We can navigate the logistics of a blind spot accident case, especially when involving a big rig here in Louisiana.

At-Fault Driver Found in Dual Trucking Accident

PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY | BATON ROUGE, LA

Two Speeding Semi TrucksFreight truckers, otherwise known as the 18-wheelers, can be some of the most careful drivers on the road. But even the most careful drivers can get into an accident. Sometimes they are caused by brake malfunctions due to a decline in proper maintenance, or sudden turns can cause the truck to “jackknife.” The most common cause of trucking accidents is roll-overs, which are usually caused by any manner of mechanical malfunction. There are also cases of driver error, whether they were at-fault or not – under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medicines, lack of sleep and long hours. But true to the “innocent until proven guilty” perspective, not all 18-wheeler drivers are immediately at fault when an accident occurs.

Earlier this month near Clinton, a short distance from Baton Rouge, LA, two 18-wheelers collided while trying to avoid a John Deere tractor on the highway. The tractor drove away from the scene, leaving one truck driver uninjured and the other to be airlifted to the nearest hospital for injuries.

Painting a Picture

It’s one of the greater fears that drivers face – to be involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler. Due to their sheer size and mass, an accident with a freight truck can be catastrophic, causing potentially fatal injuries and hours of clean-up. Even more time-consuming is the aftermath and uncovering who was at-fault.

Thankfully in this case, the story was clarified fairly quickly through both drivers and the police investigation. Shortly before 7:45 p.m. that evening, the two veteran truck drivers named Hardy Williams and Lacey David, each driving a separate truck, were cruising down Highway 67. A farm tractor was traveling on the highway, and when the trucks were quickly approaching the slow-moving tractor, both drivers took evasive measures and accidentally collided with each other. As a result of the collision, each driver’s cargo was spilled onto the highway in a mess of diesel fuel and logs.

The perpetrator was Edward Delee, who was driving the tractor without any lights on. This may well have caused the two truck drivers to act so evasively, as they may not have seen the tractor until the final moment. Delee has been arrested and charged with Hit-and-Run Driving, among other charges.

Regardless of who the at-fault driver was, it’s crucial to start gathering the evidence. Trucking companies begin this investigative process immediately, and we encourage any civilian drivers involved to consult with us as soon as possible as well.

Though the investigation is still pending, it’s worth admiring the speed at which the evidence was gathered. With the help of the truck drivers’ testimony, as well as witness accounts, the police were quickly able to assess the situation and track down the driver at-fault.

Contact Us For a Case Review

If you have been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible, regardless of your level of involvement. As one of the most experienced vehicle accident and personal injury attorneys in Baton Rouge, LA, J. Price McNamara and our team will be happy to look over your case for free. Whether you are seeking compensation for an 18-wheeler accident or simply trying to uncover the truth of who was at-fault, let us help you navigate the road by contacting us or giving us a call at (225) 201-8311.